Tuesday, August 30, 2005

What did they expect?

At a personal level the only thing I can compare the devastation from Katrina to is the loss of the WTC on 9/11. It's not as bad, I'll grant you, for any of a number of reasons. Even so, the visceral feel I have when I see all of that damage and realize "those are my neighbors" is reminiscent. And horrible.

Which is why I, personally, can't fathom the sentiment I'm starting to pick up from some of my work-mates. Namely: "Hey, you live along the Gulf of Mexico, you've got to expect these things. It's not as if it hasn't happened before..."

I'm afraid that my faith in humanity in general, and Americans in particular, continues to wane. The upside of that, of course, is that my Faith in Jesus grows, but it's certainly not a painless path (not that it's supposed to be, but I digress).

I've lived all over the northeastern quadrant of the United States. I've lived in the Lake Effect Snow regions of upstate NY; I've lived in the Hurricane/Blizzard regions of New England. I now live a commutable distance from NYC.

I know what it's like to see more than 3 feet of snow fall in a day (many times, in fact). I know what it's like to see houses washed into the see. These days I know, completely, that a WMD could very possibly detonate within 60 miles of where I live.

And I know what it's like to hear people say things like "but you knew that when you moved there," because I've heard it so many times. It never gets less stupid, either.

I'll grant you that people know about the risks when they move. I'll grant you that some people build houses in places that truly are dumb. I'll even go as far as to say that for any and all of the risks that I've lived near, the only assistance I'd personally ask for would be food/water/shelter. I've never expected the government to bail me out if my house is destroyed.

But is it too much to ask that people would feel compassion for me? And if it's not, is it too much to ask that we feel compassion for the people who lost their homes in LA, MS, and AL today?

I know that the news will be loaded with stories of great kindness, but there will also be stories of looting. I like to think that some of the people who are saying "what did they expect, living close to the Ocean like that?" are basically the same kind of people who would loot. "Looters in Waiting," if you will.

Animals are what they really are. They're a breed of person that's common to all countries, rich and poor, and they are at the heart of most human-caused suffering. If they can gain from it, they will do it - even if it's just a relative gain, made by pulling others down. They're the first to don the black shirts, white hoods, gang colors, or jack boots. They're the first to cry "intolerance," "discrimination," or worse if they think they can get away with it.

Satan's handiwork, that's for sure, and it's chilling to hear it.


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